By Brady Ambrose
Hunter Hauser-Caldwell, Mitchell Schmitz and Blake Mauss all won titles when the Caledonia/Houston/Spring Grove wrestling team placed fourth at the Stewartville Invitational Jan. 11.
Hauser-Caldwell beat Dakota Welsh of Dover-Eyota 7-6 in the championship match to claim the championship at 126 pounds, beating Stewartville junior Alex Higgins 1-0 to get to the finals.
At 160 pounds Schmitz beat D-E’s Alec Olson 11-8 and then beat Aaron Clark of Stewartville 9-5 in the finals. Mauss beat Tanner Welsh 2-1 in the finals at 285 pounds after also beating Todd Erickson of NRHEG 9-7.
The Warriors finished with 152.5 team points, while host Stewartville rolled to the team title with 199 points. Dover-Eyota placed second with 176.5 and NRHEG finished third with 159 points. Caledonia also got several top-three finishes from Justin Stemper (3rd/113 lbs.), Jacob Winjum (2nd/120), Dylan Lee (3rd/132) and Eli Craig (3rd/170).
Drew Stemper placed fifth at 138 pounds, and Blaine Knutson was 6th in the 152 pound class to round out the day for the Warriors.
Caledonia hosted St. Charles Friday night at Houston High School and got wrapped up in a great match with the Saints. The evening ended in a 33-33 tie when Mauss and Tyler Heim battled their way through a classic overtime match that Mauss eventually won with an escape in the fourth overtime period.
But because of the tie score, the officials and coaches met at the scorers table for 15 minutes where it was finally determined that St. Charles was the winner based on a number of criteria for tie-breakers, including who scored the first match points in each match in the first period of each match.
The Saints came out on top 13-7 in that category to give them the win.
Coach Dan Goergen said, “The kids wrestled a good match and St. Charles came to wrestle. It was a great dual – we moved some of the kids and some of them are a little down because they lost, but they wrestled well, did their job and went out there and battled. We found some things we need to work on and we just got beat, fair and square. This will make us stronger as a team.”
It was a back-and-forth match all night. Leading 18-9 after Drew Stemper lost at 145 pounds, Caledonia’s lead shrunk even more in the next match when Sam Stemper was pinned by Darian Doan to cut the lead to 18-15. But Blaine Knutson pinned his opponent at 160. The Saints responded at 170 when Andrew Dayland pinned Mitchell Schmitz to trim the lead to 24-21.
The teams then traded points going into the 220 pound match with the Warriors clinging to a 30-27 lead, but St. Charles senior Landon Majerus gave the Saints the lead when he pinned Case McCormick to put the Saints up 33-30 going into the final match of the night.
Mauss then turned in a herculean effort against Heim, who easily out-weighed Mauss. The pair battled to a 0-0 tie after two minutes, but Mauss earned an escape 13 seconds into the second period and led 1-0 going into the final period.
Heim then got an escape 11 seconds into the third, and the score stayed at 1-1 as the buzzer blew sending the match into overtime. Neither wrestler scored in the one minute period and the match went to a second overtime where Heim took a 3-1 lead on a reversal.
The third overtime then saw Mauss tie the match again when – with just seven seconds left – he got a two-point escape to send the match to a fourth overtime where Mauss recorded another escape from the down position to win the match and tie the score at 33-33.
“We moved Blake up and he wrestled a heck of a match,” Goergen said. “He took it right to the ultimate match and he got it done for us.”
Goergen said there are 12 or 15 different criteria to determine a tie-breaker. The refs worked their way down to letter H on the list. “It’s the first time I’ve ever been down that far in a tie-breaker,” Goergen said.
The team will travel to P-E-M Jan. 17 and then host Lewiston-Altura/Rushford-Peterson Jan. 21.